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Open Roads Forum  >  Full-time RVing

 > Electric surges and other 'mysteries'

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patzy

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Posted: 02/20/12 05:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The past few days I kept hearing a klunking sound and finally traced it to the refrigerator and the noise was coming from the large fuse that is by the frig light inside the frig.
The 'check' light on the panel above the frig would come on (I'm on shore power) and after removing the aforementioned fuse the check light is off. (a week or so has passed and I've been told it isn't the fuse that is making the klunking sound)) One person suggested it is the (klunking sound")gas solinoid valves opening and closing, it is a thunking sound." But I'm not running it on propane and the tanks are turned off since propane was low and I'm just nuking the food that needs to be warmed.
Just a wild, off the cuff idea, but perhaps if the propane tanks were filled and opened..would that in anyway affect or correct the issues? I'm just at the point of trying anything.

Another issue is: now the stereo/DVD player and TV go off and on while I try to watch a movie using a DVD. I shut off both the TV and Stereo. THEN the carbon monoxide alarm started beeping. This occurs in the evenings, only. (go figure)
Initially I checked my house batteries, they were weak, so I replaced them and thought the issue was taken care of...not the case, the same thing happened last night.
I constantly worry about electrical issues since living in my RV full time.
I also noticed the overhead lights in the living area brightened and dimmed when I heard the klunking sound.
I would think if it was electrical surges strong enough to cause the TV and DVD player to go off and on that the microwave clock/timer and electric clock in the bedroom would be affected and have to be reset, but that is not the issue in this case.
I looked at the fuse (fridge) and the fuse wire is intact so fuse is not blown.
Also...should I be concerned with the brightening of the lights when the convertor box fan comes on?
Addendum, I only hear the convertor fan turn on with the brightening of the lights. (in evenings)
So...it seems the DVD/stereo, refrigerator, TV, and c.m. alarm are affected by whatever is happening. I turn off the 'fridge as I am concerned about it being damaged and will turn off DVD and TV also, which obviously is only a temporary 'fix'. The next day all work fine and sometimes an evening will go by where I am using all of the above and no problems.
I had an electrician replace the electrical box outside (30amp), so all new wiring etc.
Also no generator, so that is not in the picture or an issue.
Hope this all makes sense and someone can give me some answers or thoughts on the above occurrences.

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 02/20/12 07:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like your converter is going bad.

Post the make & model number of your converter.......

jconnally

Trussville, Al

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Posted: 02/20/12 08:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have a 12 volt batter charger place it on the house battery. If the problems go away then you have a convertor problem. The fridge, LP detector, and (if it came with the trailer) the DVD player all operate on 12V. Since you had a weak battery and replaced and now it's bad again it sounds like a convertor going bad. A fully charged 12V battery can drain quickly if you do not realize your convertor is malfunctioning and your operating on the battery. I'm assuming you don't have a multimeter to measure voltage and track down 12v current.


2008 Chevy 3500 SRW Duramax/Allison
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patzy

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Posted: 02/20/12 08:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Sounds like your converter is going bad.

Post the make & model number of your converter.......


WFCO 3-Stage Converter
WF-8955AN W/PLASTIC

(power converter with panel 70VF

omg...I've had so many things to repair and replace...

patzy

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Posted: 02/20/12 08:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jconnally wrote:

If you have a 12 volt batter charger place it on the house battery. If the problems go away then you have a convertor problem. The fridge, LP detector, and (if it came with the trailer) the DVD player all operate on 12V. Since you had a weak battery and replaced and now it's bad again it sounds like a convertor going bad. A fully charged 12V battery can drain quickly if you do not realize your convertor is malfunctioning and your operating on the battery. I'm assuming you don't have a multimeter to measure voltage and track down 12v current.


What you are saying makes sense. So when nothing is being used at night, the convertor manages to trickle charge the batteries and then they are quickly drained by usage in the evenings? Nope no multimeter.(nor a charger) Borrowed the electricians "tester" (for electrical recepticals) to see if there were any open neutrals etc...came up nada.

Guess it's time to get a multimeter or see if I can borrow one.

* This post was edited 02/20/12 09:09pm by patzy *

Son of Norway

Denver, Colorado

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Posted: 02/20/12 07:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did any of this start after the electrician replaced the box?

Miles

sirdrakejr

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Posted: 02/20/12 09:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moved from 5th wheels to Full-time RVing.
Frank


2011 Palomino Maverick 1000SLLB on a 2004 Dodge Quadcab CTD Ram3500 SRW long bed equipped with Timbren springs, Stable Load bump stops, Rickson 19.5" wheels/"G" range tires and a Helwig "Big Wig" rear anti sway bar.


patzy

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Posted: 02/20/12 09:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Son of Norway wrote:

Did any of this start after the electrician replaced the box?

Miles


I back tracked in my Personal Planner Calender book...Lost all power at 8pm in evening (naturally the coldest night+ following day of the week! )Firstly a man who lives on the same property came up and looked and said all the wires "were fried" in the box. I looked and they were. Electrician came and said former person who hooked up the 30 amp box/receptacle for me had done a poor job. He then set up a new box for the whole system (as the 30amp box was created by a well on the property using electricity from that source of power)with circuit breakers for my RV and for the well.

Things were fine and about a week later, lost all power (we are in a rural area, so not uncommon...then followed by about 8 surges of electricity, so contacted electrician and he came by with tester and checked the outside receptacle and then the receptacles in the main living area. No problem indicated. Later the trouble with fridge and DVD/stereo and TV started up...so it does seem the problems started after the new box was put in.

I know my answers are wordy, but I'm trying to get all info. in so perhaps someone can make some sense of what is going on.

Also, when I first had to live in RV full time I'd trip the breakers using too many things at once and so learned what to run with what really fast. Since then I have never had a breaker trip, even with the present problems and that has been 3 years or a bit more. Don't know if that info is important.

patzy

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Posted: 02/20/12 09:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, doing what is below this, is the correct way to find out the source of the problem?
Check the power source before getting into the converter to ensure the problem isn't in the system before that point. Go to the pedestal your power is being received from. Turn off all the breakers,and then turn them back on. There is commonly an outlet at the breakers. Use the GFCI tester to ensure power is coming through. If a problem exists, it's not the converter -- it is the power source. Contact the park manager, or, if you are at home, you have an electrical system problem at the source.

2
Plug your converter unit back in, and go inside the RV. Begin at the power outlet nearest the entry. Test the outlet with the GFCI tester. If a problem exists, it could be the circuit and not the converter. Test another circuit elsewhere if this one indicates a problem to see if it is isolated. If it is, you have a bad AC circuit and need a qualified RV repair technician to check the electrical system. If no problem exists in either circuit, move on to the battery and panel testing.

3
Disconnect the battery in the vehicle by taking the positive and negative leads off. Unplug your converter unit. Make sure everything is installed correctly and tightly on the fuse panel. Once everything is in working order, check your battery connections for corrosion. If there is any, clean it with a mild solution of baking soda and water and a wire brush. Dry completely, and reconnect the battery.

4
Turn off all breakers in the RV, and turn them back on. Check for a GFCI breaker. These are designed to trip off in a power overload. If you locate one on the panel, ensure it is on.

5
Set up the multimeter to read DC power. Place the positive probe on the positive battery lead to the converter. It should read 13.5 volts. If it does not, chances are your converter is not working, in which case you'll need to replace the converter. If the meter detects the correct voltage, then the converter is likely not the problem; rather, the problem may be with the electrical circuits themselves. In this case, have a qualified electrical technician check the system

hmknightnc

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 02/20/12 10:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Converters don't deal with power surges very well. If your power cycled (surged 8 times) like you indicated then 12 volt systems started giving you trouble I be looking to test out the converter. I've fried a couple that way over the last 10 years. As someone else said check for approximately 13.5 volts up to 14.4 volts DC out of the converter. If you don't have it start looking to replace.

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